Confidentiality in the Schools Training by WCSD

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  • 1. Confidentiality in the Schools A Presentation by Clay “G” Mills, Ph.D. WCSD School Psychologist Copyright 2008 This information is intended for an individual to review on an as needed basis as part of the District’s new teacher induction program. No part of this presentation may be modified, printed, or presented without the author’s permission.
  • 2. CONFIDENTIALITY This workshop on confidentiality is designed to meet federal requirements for staff training while increasing staff awareness of their responsibilities regarding privacy of student records.
  • 3. Goal Question... What can I do personally and/or professionally to improve my practice in regards to preserving the confidentiality of students, staff, parents, and others that I serve?
  • 4. Confidentiality In PracticeConfidentiality In Practice Goals of this presentation:Goals of this presentation: Awareness of confidentiality laws and requirements, and district policy! Complying with procedures regarding educational records, and the concept of “Personally Identifiable Information” and “Directory Information”. Define “Educationally Relevant” and “Legitimate Educational Interest”. Being sensitive to violations of confidentiality in verbal exchanges with others.
  • 5. Three Confidentiality LawsThree Confidentiality Laws 1.1. FERPAFERPA--Family Education RightsFamily Education Rights and Privacy Actand Privacy Act 2.2. IDEAIDEA--Individuals With DisabilitiesIndividuals With Disabilities Education ActEducation Act 3.3. HIPPAHIPPA--Health InsuranceHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability ActPortability and Accountability Act
  • 6. Definition of EducationDefinition of Education RecordsRecords Records, files, documents and other materials which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a person acting for such agency or institution. Educational records should be disposed of properly. Know your “shredding” policy. Principal, teachers, secretaries, custodian, bus driver, aides, food service workers, secretarial…who else? What about substitutes and volunteers?
  • 7. Personally Identifiable Information  Any personal identifier: (Driver’s License #, Census #, etc.)  A list of personal characteristics that would make it possible to identify the student (handicap, etc.)
  • 8. Test Time… Ask these questions to protect yourself 1.1. WhoWho is listening (or could be?) 2.2. WhatWhat is being discussed 3.3. WhenWhen is the meeting to take place 4. Where the discussion takes place 5.5. HowHow are items discussed & documented 6.6. WhyWhy the discussion took place
  • 9. WhoWho is listeningis listening (or could be?) 1. If the parties to the discussion are school officials with legitimate educational interest, there is no problem with confidentiality. 2. If others are listening who have no legitimate educational interest (such as a teacher who is eavesdropping, a nosy child on the playground, children in the hall, etc.) confidentiality may be violated. 3. If the discussion occurs in a public place (such as the playground, the halls, a busy teachers’ lounge, the Laundromat), there is a good chance that confidentiality could be violated.
  • 10. WhatWhat is discussedis discussed 1. If the discussion involves directory information (name, address, etc.) there is no problem unless the parent has refused to have this information released. 2. If the discussion involves other personally identifiable information that is confidential (disability, family data, etc.), the parties should be sure that legitimate educational interest is involved. 3. If the discussion involves information that is rumor, opinion, or hearsay, chances are that confidentiality will be in question, and the parties have moved from professionalism to gossip.
  • 11. WhenWhen is the meetingis the meeting to take placeto take place Quiet time vs. busy time Before school vs. after school Before lunch vs. after lunch During class time vs. prep time Convenient for teacher vs. parent Meeting is planned vs. “winging-it” Allow enough time vs. hurried and hasty planning
  • 12. WhereWhere the discussionthe discussion takes placetakes place If the discussion occurs in a private place (such as a teacher’s empty room, empty teachers’ lounge), there is no problem with confidentiality. Hallways, playground, outside, pose confidentiality breach threats. Any other threats?
  • 13. HowHow are items discussed &are items discussed & documenteddocumented Telephone Mail E-mail Memo Post-it-notes Others…
  • 14. Why the discussion took place Did you invite the appropriate people? Are there people in attendance who don’t really belong in this discussion? If the parties have legitimate educational interest in a student and are sharing information that will help them work with the child, then there is no problem with confidentiality. If the parties are gossiping to pass time, carrying on with stories about a student or his family, or for other non- educational reasons, there is probably a problem with confidentiality.
  • 15. You may be only one person in the world, But you may also be the world to one personAnonymous
  • 16. THEENDTHEEND For more information, Contact: Your Building Principal, Lyle Cox, Human Resources Manager, Clay Mills, School Psychologist
  • 17. Contact Information:Contact Information: Clay “G” Mills, Ph.D. School Psychologist Washington County School District 121 West Tabernacle St. George, Utah 84770 Phone: (435) 673-3553 (ext. 203) cmills@washk12.orgcmills@washk12.org I welcome comments and suggestions for future presentations….